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Someone with an interest in finding a suitable scripting language for embedding in an application (or for whatever reason really), with an attention span of around one minute is not someone I'd worry too much about, it's their loss, whatever they choose,
and the opinions of such people tend to diffuse rapidly anyway.
I honestly can't say when or why my greedy programmer fingers first landed on lua, I certainly wasn't looking for it. I also enjoy the fact that lua isn't projected onto people like other languages.. It doesn't brag, it's not in your face, it doesn't try to sound boombastic, it simply states it's intentions, and that of it's creators, and nothing else. Lua let's it's own accomplishments do the talking. I often find it difficult to describe the "vibe" of lua, but something along the lines of a 'cute shark', or perhaps superman as a kid, sortof humble and nice, almost innocent, but man, can he run!

Anyway, I wouldn't worry about who discovers lua and for what reason, and it certainly doesn't have much to do with how the main lua page presents it. It's pretty much exactly the way it should be, non-flaunting and informative.

(I really have very little clue what this thread is about, I just felt an urge to reply to this post, pardon if it's completely off track)

Fabien wrote:
On 5/25/07, *Luiz Henrique de Figueiredo* < <>> wrote:

    Aren't these features covered in the "about" page?

My 2 cents:

Technically, all relevant informations are on the site indeed. However, I'm not sure it's very efficient at grabbing the attention of a person scanning the web for a solution to his problem, even if Lua actually *is* that solution.

It sucks to make a blattantly comparative page such as "Lua is better than $FOOBARLANGUAGE because such and that etc.". However, most people potentially interested by Lua already know of Python, Ruby, Javascript and maybe another couple of other languages which look like safe bets. Their real question is "What does Lua provide, which is not provided by these safe bets?". So even if you can't be too blattant, you must keep in mind that it *is* the question you must actually answer.

Therefore I'd advocate a reordering of about.html which highlights the differenciating factors, and maybe moving/copying parts of it to the front page. All languages brag about being efficient, supporting advanced features etc. IMO, the decreasing order of importance, to be reflected in the paragraphs ordering, should be:

- portability and symbiosis with C/C++.

- clean, orthogonal semantics. Some hint should be somehow provided that you're doing *way* better than anything else save Scheme with this respect, without seaming too pretentious...

- there is a useful subset of the language accessible to non-programmers: that can make your applications' power users very happy.

- there has been serious apps written with it. This shouldn't come first, I only care about this if I'm already attracted to the language. Heck, COBOL probably has a bigger code base than Lua: lack of significant apps is a show-stopper, but existence of some is a weak argument.

- speed and licencing also are about relieving show stopper issues, they shouldn't come first.

Another nitpicking: most of the time, when I click on an "About" button on my computer, I get a boring credits nag screen and some copyright info. My Pavlovian reflex is to expect whatever is behind "about" to have a signal/noise ratio close to zero. Maybe a more obvious name, such as "Lua in a nutshell", would help driving people to that page? Also, the links are very dark and without underlines, it takes a real effort to notice them. It especially matters for that page, which is addressed to first-time visitors who're likely to have a dozen other tabs open, pointing to groovy, rebol, io, forth, guile, etc. and are likely to eliminate anything which won't grab their short attention span within the first minute.

I've been first interested by Lua because of its ability to run on tiny embedded devices (which I learned about through word of mouth, not through the web, incidentally). Then I had an occasion to discover its other, much more lovey and impressive features, because I was already hooked; but I would never had guessed how great a language it was by just looking at <>. Couldn't PUC hire some marketing intern? :D